Private and voluntary nursing homes say they have around 500 vacancies for nurses around the country.

Nursing Homes Ireland is hosting a recruitment seminar in Dublin this afternoon to attract nurses to take up vacant posts.

It comes at a time when there is a public sector recruitment embargo and many older nurses are taking early retirement from the health service.

The organisation says a survey of its members shows that the majority of nursing homes have one or more nursing vacancy.

It says that close to 1,400 posts could be available over the next 12 months.

The private and voluntary nursing home sector cares for 21,000 residents and provides more than 65% of all long-term beds in the country. It employs over 21,000 staff.